Essay Of Cruelty To The Animals

They say cruelty is almost never punished now, so stricter penalties for it will mean little.

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This case and others have focused attention on the limitations of the state law, and as a result Representative Tom Johnson recently introduced a bill to stiffen the penalties of the 1973 Humane Care for Animals Act.

Among other things, the bill would make "aggravated cruelty" to animals--an act resulting in "serious, malicious harm or death"--a Class A misdemeanor.

"You can't make the penalties so strict--even though you desire it--because the courts won't abide by it.

They won't pursue it to that extent." Especially if the penalties for abusing animals are harsher than those for abusing people.

"Law enforcement doesn't want to enforce anything that isn't worth their effort.

It takes a lot of effort to go out, catch these people, and bring them in.

And that language is both limited and vague, which makes neglect cases difficult to prove in court.

The current Humane Care for Animals Act attempts to provide protection for every species of animal.

There are long paragraphs describing how animals can be used in entertainment, how they must be transported, why they can be impounded. But the tiny section that deals with companion animals says only that owners must provide their pets with sufficient food and water, adequate shelter, veterinary care when needed, and humane treatment.

No guidelines are given as to what "sufficient," "adequate," or "humane" are--which makes every neglect case a judgment call.


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